India and France launch global alliance to boost solar in 120 countries

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30 November 2015

PARIS: Today, marking a promising first day of the global COP21 climate talks, India and France announced they will lead an international Solar Alliance, a joint effort to boost clean energy in 120 solar-rich countries around the world.  

Co-chaired by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the President of France Francois Hollande, the Solar Alliance is a shared platform for leaders of the project – including Brazil, Ethiopia, Fiji, Indonesia, Mauritius, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Peru and the UAE – to spur solar investment and innovation in their respective countries.

Krishnan Pallassana, Executive Director, The Climate Group says: "We are delighted that Prime Minister Modi is helping to launch the global solar alliance today, which reflects a collective large-scale commitment to bolstering renewable energy. In India, and across the world, there is a golden opportunity for the private sector to take advantage and move toward a prosperous low carbon future by demanding as well as investing in clean energy.

“The benefits for business are threefold: greater energy security, affordable supplies, and recognized leadership internationally. We hope that this will send a strong signal to other world leaders that bold climate action is essential and that more companies will sign up to RE100, our flagship renewable energy campaign, which works with world leading companies to demonstrate that the transition to the low carbon economy is inevitable, irreversible and irresistible.”

During the press conference in Paris today, Prime Minister Modi said: "This is why the Solar Alliance is so important. We want to bring solar energy into our lives and homes by making it cheaper, more reliable and easier to connect to the grid. [...] There is already a revolution in solar energy: the technology is evolving, costs are coming down and grid connectivity is improving. The dream of universal access to clean energy is becoming real." 

The Prime Minister said the governments will collaborate on research and innovation, share knowledge and exchange best practices as well as discuss regulatory issues, in order to attract investment in solar, encourage joint ventures and develop innovative finance mechanisms.

He highlighted that India would provide US$30 million toward the secretariat and support for five years, as well as work with other nations on long-term funding for the Alliance.

Mentioning India's national target to reach 100GW of solar by 2022, the Prime Minister also said: "By the end of next year, we will have installed another 12 GW."

Last week The Climate Group and CDP published a report illustrating the business case for driving renewable power in India as part of the RE100 campaign – which supports the world’s most influential companies on their journey to 100% renewables.  

The briefing outlines the many benefits of making the switch, such as improved energy security. A low carbon transition can also help India meet surging demand for electricity, which has further triggered rising grid costs. In contrast, the falling cost of renewables presents a clear business alternative

Earlier this year, a separate RE100 report spotlighted the UAE as being at the heart of the global shift to a low carbon energy-based economy, due to its huge solar resources and cutting-edge technology development. Our analysis, supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency, concludes that the Emirate is set to be a leader of the world's impressive solar sector growth.

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